Thursday, February 7, 2013

Got Pillowcases? DIY a Shift Dress!

I didn't have much luck with the leopard shifts at J. Crew or LOFT, so decided to make my own when I saw this $5 set of pillowcases at Walmart.  Similar fabrics I've seen have been at least double the price and, in the event of an error, I wouldn't be ruining anything expensive.

$5 pillowcases + kicky lilac zipper = DIY Leopard Sheath

I wound up using Simplicity 3833 (link) as my pattern (it's a retro pattern and it fit well in the shoulders / chest / sleeves without any alterations) and modifying the skirt flare to be more straight. I would highly recommend any current / future sew-ers to look at less conventional sources (I love those unconventional challenges on Project Runway!) for fabrics - bedding, drapery, home decor fabrics, etc.  You may find a cute print or a good deal that fits your needs.  For reference, I simply seam-ripped the pillow cuffs, side seam, and top seam to get 2 flat sheets of fabric.  From there, I cut out my pattern pieces as if it were a normal piece of fabric.

Paired with some stripe-y tights & a view of it on the dress form

Random story - my fight or flight instinct doesn't work.  While hiking the foothills (I sure thought those were mountains when we moved here), my husband and I accidentally veered into the path of a not-so-happy bull.  I froze and tried to look inconspicuous.  My husband yelled, "run" and took off (his instinct apparently intact, lol).  The bull wandered off and neither of us got hurt, but it sure did get our hearts pounding!  Not sure if this is something anyone really encounters, but what are you supposed to do in this situation?


  1. You know I love animal prints! I'm crazy about this shift dress. It looks fab on you and sexy paired with those tights.

    1. And oh my about the bulls...not sure how i would have reacted either. lol

  2. You're so freaken creative and talented. Seriously. Your shift dress looks infinitely better than the ones you find in stores. As for the bull - glad to hear you guys got away safely! I'm not sure what I would have done in your situation...probably freeze...and then try to back away slowly???

  3. You are so creative!! I have made a dress from a sheet before but I have never thought about pillowcases. I am happy you got away from the bull safely. That is not something you expect to encounter while hiking.

  4. I love the dress on you. I'd never think of using pillow cases to make a dress but it totally works. Genius!

  5. It is quite scary as Ive seen some real angry bulls running wild.. Glad you guys are ok.

    Everytime I think this was your DIY best you come up with something even more spectacular! Love this and its wrinkle free... YAY!

  6. Amazing dress SPG! You're so resourceful :) Never would've thought to turn a pillow case into a dress.

    And I'm not sure if you're supposed to run... Movement can catch their eye. Then again, not sure that the bull would be that interested though.

  7. Thanks for sharing the pattern you used. I love the lilac zipper! And the bull? I think you did the right thing and froze. I am surprised the bull didn't go chasing after your hubs. I'm sure I woulda "killed" my hubs for running away and leaving me behind ;).

  8. This is so gorgeous! It's simple but has a great statement and I would never know it was made out of pillowcases.

  9. OMG! Girl you are freakin amazing! That looks so good!

    A Petite Treat

  10. Oh wow! I am amazed with your dress. It looks so fab on you and how creative of using the pillow case. Great deal SPG!!
    Oh my goodness. I think I would have froze too....I get shocked first and have delayed reaction. Glad no one was hurt! xoxo, Phoebe

  11. That is such a cool idea!

    Omg...I am such a wuss...would have freaked and ran. Take something red next time to distract the next bull you come across while you run. :)

  12. Awesome idea! It's a must try. What size are you in that pattern?

  13. Woah, that must have been frightening with the bull! The only animals I've ever ran into are stray cats or I would have no idea how to react to a bull! So random indeed! Glad you guys ended up safe and sound! And wow! a pillow-case into a dress! It's like you have magic! Love it!!!

  14. No way! You are amazing! The dress looks beautiful!

    I would have been scared frozen. I'm glad the bull didn't harm y'all!


  15. Very cute. Your creativity strikes again! I may have ran, but knowing my bad luck, that might just encourage the bull to run after me lol!
    I can't believe you encountered one!

  16. you seriously never cease to amaze me. this is awesome S! you look fantastic in it. i have no idea what i'd do either. it is just as well, i don't think i'd be able to outrun it!

    xox P


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